France, I’m sorry. I’ve made light of you many too times and questioned why you do things in what seems to be the strangest of ways. I take it all back after visiting the Italian island of Sardinia. Looking for late summer sun, I took a road trip around the island. The first sign of oddness was the car hire man, who upgraded me from a Fiat 500 to — wait for it — a Fiat 500. Maybe the upgrade was the dusty finish, or the unnecessary bumper parking in the half-empty parking lot. Thankfully, the car exceeded its ‘Fix It Again Tomorrow’ label and I whizzed around without any mechanical hitches.
On the southern coast, I spotted this Australian flag. Did someone have too much limoncello? I mean, it’s not like the flag consists of, say, three stripes that might be easy to hang upside down: there’s a union jack and the Southern Cross star constellation to guide you to the right way to hang it. What happened, Sardinia?
On an island that makes mochas without milk and feeds pasta even to the fish (our skipper pointed out “They’re Italian fish: of course they eat pasta”), I wonder where Sardinians go when they feel like something other than pizza and pasta. Yes, that’s a photo of a frenzied fish attack on tomato, olive and prawn pasta. Okay, the food in Sardinia is delicious, but the locals must have to travel long distances for any cuisine that isn’t Italian.
Meanwhile, too much partying in the days before Sardinia led to a nasty case of tonsillitis. By Arbatax, I felt so bad that I followed the signs to the hospital. After establishing “nobody” spoke English or French, I tried “tonsillitis” in English and French. She shrugged, even though the Italian word is pretty similar. In broken English, she said the hospital was for scans only. And no, she couldn’t tell me where to find a doctor. Nobody around town seemed to know either. I wonder if the people waiting for scans at the hospital wrote their own scan requests.
Even in Italy, not all roads lead to Rome. Sardinia, being an island, has a different mecca. All roads lead to Bono. Who knew he lived there?
France, I’m happy to be back.